Jimmy's Reviews > Second Skin

Second Skin by John Hawkes
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's review
Aug 31, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in July, 2009

Yeah, what the hell. Why not? I love books about characters that morbidly exist in the wake of a loved one's suicide. I love misery. God, that sounds so typically melodramatic. Maybe I mean that I love light being made of human misery and suffering.

Some days I wake up, and I can see nothing but the comedic aspect of life's ridiculous restrictions; poverty, biological disintegration, regret, doubt, illness, failure, humility, disappointment, etc. I want at least the delusion that I can exert any control over my own perspective, that I can giggle in the face of complete and total suffering. Or maybe I can just read a piece of fiction about it, and relate to this shared human condition. Blah, blah, blah, etc. John Hawkes is stylistic candy. As Mr. Gaddis once said "his sentences are events unto themselves".


Seeing as how every time I picked up this book I was either hungover or drunk, I can't blame Hawkes for being too aimless or opaque. The story has its more engaging moments. Hawkes' blends dada absurdism and Lynchian ominousness together, and that combination seems to result in an awkward balance. Once again Camus's influence is probably stronger than it ever has been. And I must continue to stress the fact that whatever is seemingly omitted from Hawkes' stories is done so in a very deliberate manner. Even when he isn't at his finest, which Second Skin certainly isn't, he still manages to display a solid enough intention through his prose.

Alright, I'm done. God, I'm not even drunk yet.
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Reading Progress

07/07/2009 page 69
10/19/2016 marked as: read
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message 1: by karen (new)

karen yup, i can see greg liking this review. i can see him writing this review.

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